18 December 2015

{Author Interview + Giveaway} The Blue Woods by Nicole Maggi

By: Me My Shelf And I | 18 December 2015 at 12:43 AM | | | | |
Thank you for stopping in to the final stop on THE BLUE WOODS (Twin Willos Trilogy #3) by Nicole Maggi blog tour. I am really excited to be bringing you an amazing giveaway, but more importantly an extra amazing interview with the author! Check it out!
About The Book
Twin Willow Trilogy #3
Author: Nicole Maggi
Release Date: January 2016
Publisher: Medallion Media Group
The Night Battles ascend in THE BLUE WOODS, the exhilarating conclusion to the Twin Willows Trilogy

Sixteen-year-old Alessia Jacobs wants to go to college someday like her friends. She wishes for a chance at a normal relationship with Jonah. But normal is never an option for a Benandante like Alessia, who has sworn to protect the magic in the world from the Malandanti . . . especially when Jonah is on the opposite side of the deadly struggle. When the war comes to a head, lives will be lost, love will be gained, and Alessia will risk everything to save the people she loves and destroy the Malandanti once and for all.

Interview with Nicole Maggi

1. You’ve finished and published your first trilogy, CONGRATS! What are five things you learned through the process?

Thank you! I feel like, what DIDN’T I learn writing this? LOL! I think I truly learned how to a write a book. How to take a character and create a journey for that character through not just one book, but three. Writing these books taught me how to write on deadline (and how to humbly ask for an extension when that deadline goes swooshing by!), how to work with an editor, and how to trust myself and my instincts. They taught me not to ignore this little scratchy feeling I get in my gut when I know, deep down, that something isn’t working. And to not be afraid to radically change things if that is what is going to work best for the story and the characters. But mostly, I learned how much I love losing myself in a world that’s not my own, how much I love going along for the ride with my characters, and how much I love writing YA fantasy.

2. Give me your favorite line/quote from each of the books in the Twin Willows Trilogy.

Oh, man. This was hard! Is it totally egotistical to admit that there were several in each book that I really love? If so, then I’m totally egotistical.
My mother stalked toward us, her gaze fixed on Jonah like she was thinking about which knife in her collection would do the job best. – from WINTER FALLS, Chapter Twelve
Nerina sighed. “Eternity, yes. A concept that is very different in practice than it is in theory.”
“Yeah, the world must get super boring after a couple hundred years.”
“Boring? No. But an immortal life sometimes feels too long.” She glanced at me. “But it’s not exactly a gift you can give back.”
“You could’ve gotten yourself killed in battle.”
Nerina stopped and stood in front of me. “Ah, but you see, I may be tired of immortality, but I am not ready to die.” – from IN THE MOUTH OF THE WOLF, Chapter Thirteen
I held onto the little ridge at the base of Dario’s neck and smiled. He lifted into the air and I suddenly realized…I was riding a freaking dragon. I wondered if I could put that under Special Skills on my future resume. – from THE BLUE WOODS, Chapter Twenty-Four

3. What was the biggest challenge about writing THE BLUE WOODS, and closing up this series?

Writing THE BLUE WOOD was really tough. I struggled a lot with it for a couple of reasons. One, it was very emotional, knowing that I was ending my journey with these characters and this world that I’d been living in since 2008 (when I first started the first book). Two, even though I knew the arc of this book ahead of time, I had a hard time figuring out logistically how to make that arc work. I actually had to ask for two extensions for this book, which my wonderful editor very graciously granted me. This is going to sound really silly, but it’s almost like I didn’t quite realize I’d have to write a last book for the trilogy when I was writing the first two books. Like, I just didn’t think about that at all because I was so in the moment while writing Books One and Two. And then when I finally had to face the reality of Book Three, it was like, “holy crap, what did I get myself into?!” LOL! I had laid out all these little threads in the first two books and it took my brain a while to figure out how to weave them all together in the third book. But then, magically, mysteriously, it all came together and I am really proud of this book and how everything wraps up.

4. Did the series wrap up the way you thought it would when you first had the idea for it, or did you not have any idea what the ending might be when you wrote the first book in the series.

I always knew how I wanted the series to end, that the war between the Benandanti and the Malandanti had to come to a head and be resolved. And I knew a couple of things that had to happen in order to get us to that resolution. But there were a couple of twists and turns that I didn’t quite see coming.

There’s also one really big twist that I originally had happening about 100 pages from the end. And I wrote about 50 pages past that and thought, “Jeez, this whole book falls apart after that big thing happens.” And so, about 3 weeks before my deadline (my third one, after the two extensions I’d already asked for, so I knew I absolutely could not ask for another one), I realized that big thing had to happen at the end of the book, that that big thing was the climax. So I scrapped everything I’d written after that point and redid it all, flying by the seat of my pants without any plan, just writing toward that big climactic moment. And it actually became easier at that point, because once I’d figured out the right order, everything fell into place.
There’s also a really big backstory secret that comes out in this book that I hadn’t originally planned on. I was lucky, because I was still in copy edits for the second book when I figured out this secret, and I was able to go back and change stuff in the second book so that it would track through the third. That was fortunate, because otherwise this secret would not have made sense!

5. Five things, sounds or places that will forever remind you of this series when you see/hear them.

The smell of pine, like the forest surrounding the Waterfall in the book.
The sound of a waterfall. There are many times in the series where Alessia hears the Waterfall before she sees it.
The sight of a falcon soaring through the sky, as Alessia does so often in the books. Occasionally, we see falcons near my house and I can’t see one without thinking of her.
The scent of homemade tomato sauce…this always reminds me of my grandmother, upon whom I based the character of Alessia’s mother, Lidia. Her kitchen is my grandmother’s kitchen. So now I think of both of them when I’m making sauce, or cooking something particularly Italian.
Finally, last winter I went to Ojai, California, one of my favorite places, to work on the third book in peace and quiet (read: away from my husband and five-year-old daughter, both of whom I love dearly, but can sometimes get in the way of writing, LOL). Ojai is a very special place; they say it’s built on ley lines and you can really feel that energy there. So Ojai will always remind me of the time I spent there writing THE BLUE WOODS.

6. What can you readers except from you next?

Earlier this year, I had a standalone thriller come out from Sourcebooks Fire, THE FORGETTING. I’ll have another thriller coming out with them in the near future, probably sometime in 2017. Beyond that, I’m hoping to return to fantasy and maybe even try my hand at high or epic fantasy (which is fantasy set in a completely different world than our own, as opposed to urban fantasy like The Twin Willows Trilogy which is set in our world, with fantastical elements). I have a lot of ideas swirling around in my overactive brain, so I hope to be publishing books for many, many years to come!

About The Author
Author-Photo-2---high-res_thumb1Nicole was born in the suburbs of upstate New York, and began writing poems about unicorns and rainbows at a very early age.  She detoured into acting, earned a BFA from Emerson College, and moved to NYC where she performed in lots of off-off-off-Broadway Shakespeare.  After a decade of schlepping groceries on the subway, she and her husband hightailed it to sunny Los Angeles, where they now reside, surrounded by fruit trees, with their young daughter and two oddball cats.  She is also the author of THE TWIN WILLOWS TRILOGY, published by Medallion Press.  The first book, WINTER FALLS, is available now.
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  1. Thank you so, so much for hosting me on your blog, and for doing such a bang-up job with my tour, as always! You are so fantastic! Happy Reading! <3

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